Archive for category rhizotomy
Spinal Facet Joint Pain presented by KBNI Houston, Katy, Woodlands, Sugarland, Galleria, Pearland, Kingwood, Spring, Memorial City, TMC
Posted by admin in arthritis, back pain, baytown, beaumont, chiropractic, chiropractor, core strengthening exercise, disc degeneration, exercise, facet joint, fusion, houston, low back pain, lumbar, lumbar fusion, neck pain, pain, physical therapy, rhizotomy, spinal fusion, sugarland, woodlands on September 23, 2014
SPINAL FACET JOINT PAIN
A facet joint is a link between our vertebrae within our spinal column, and can be the cause of pain within the spine. Regarding spinal anatomy, their ends are covered in cartilage, which allows for the relatively pain-free articulation of the spine during routine motion (sitting, standing, twisting, bending, lifting, walking, etc.). Over time, however, the cartilage covering the facet joints breaks down naturally as we age. Heavy lifting, poor weight management, improper lifting technique, and too much sedentary activity can all accelerate the breakdown of facet joint cartilage, increasing the chances of compressing nearby spinal nerves and causing extremely sharp back pain. The spinal column can be the source of mechanical pain.
In many cases, imaging tests (x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging) will be necessary to confirm the diagnosis of a facet joint-related spinal back pain. Your doctor will have to first rule out muscle tears and muscle spasms caused by oxygen-starvation in your back muscles (often occurring as the result of too much time spent in a sitting or standing position, which keeps muscles in the back in a highly tensed state). While a compromised facet joint is certainly a cause for concern, by no means is the problem untreatable. Many patients are able to successfully mediate their pain levels at home, without having to explore the possibility of spinal back surgery.
In order to treat back pain caused by degenerating facet joints, most patients effectively mediate their pain levels using over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Pain medication usually restores enough temporary mobility to explore other long-term treatments, such as physical therapy. Patients may use a physical therapy or chiropractor / chiropractic regimen to develop muscles along the spinal column, which in turn will relieve load stress from compromised spinal discs (the shock-absorbing pads between our vertebrae) and facet joints alike. During your physical therapy or chiropractor / chiropractic regimen, several checkups will likely be necessary in order for your physician to accurately gauge your progress and recommend changes to your course of treatment.
If the cartilage has worn to the point where nearby spinal nerves are at risk, back surgery may be necessary to preserve a patient’s long-term health and mobility. Regular spinal nerve compression can lead to muscle weakness, sharp back pain, and eventual nerve damage and loss of sensation in other parts of the body. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible to determine if parts of your spinal discs or facet joints are responsible. If back / spine surgery is needed, your physicians can offer excellent advice on your post-operative care period, including incremental increases in physical therapy to preserve (and in some cases improve) patient mobility.
Generally, spinal facet joint pain can be diagnosed by having a physician (spine surgeon, neurosurgeon, pain specialist) perform a facet joint block. This procedure “numbs” the nerves (medial branch of nerves) traveling to the facet joint. If the block is successful at relieving the pain, it can be concluded that the pain is coming from the facet joint. At that point, a more permanent facet joint rhizotomy, in which the nerves to the facet are destroyed (with thermal coagulation, also known as a rhizotomy) , may be of good benefit (after undergoing two trails of a facet joint nerve block). A fusion of the spine (ALIF, TLIF, XLIF, PLIF, DLIF) can also help with pain coming from the facet joint, as the fusion will immobilize the joint.
Physician experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston, TX, have significant experience in diagnosing and treating spinal facet joint pain. The Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI) in Houston TX cares for patients in Houston and the surrounding areas, including Sugarland, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sealy, Baytown, Pearland, Beaumont, Galleria, Tomball, Conroe, Humble, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Galveston, Memorial City, Texas Medical Center (TMC) and other Texas TX cities including Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin.
Keywords: facet joint, spinal, pain, Houston, Woodlands, Katy, Spring, Sugarland, Sealy, Pearland, Baytown, Beaumont, Tomball, Galleria, Humble, Conroe, Kingwood, Port Arthur, Memorial City, Galveston, Texas Medical Center (TMC), Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin